Echo Harp

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My golden Butterfly 32 hole harmonica?

Hello. I own a golden Butterfly 32 hole (16 double holes) harmonica. I was wondering if this is a good quality harmonica or not? Does it matter in case of harmonicas?
Also, how does it differ from the basic 10-hole harmonicas? can I still play similar songs with it?

My harmonica looks like this

http://www.harmonica-brands.com/uploads/harmonica/3/280137613331-2.jpg

and http://www.harmonica.hk/catalog/images/P1030257.jpg (except this is a 10 hole one)

Golden Butterfly is an old company - they make pretty decent harmonicas that hold up to abuse pretty well and stay in tune ok. It does matter in the case of harmonicas - some, such as what you find at the dollar store, can't even play a tune because they're really just noise makers with no scale.

How does it differ from a "basic 10-hole" [10-hole diatonic]?

Your Butterfly 16/32 is a tremolo harmonica scale-tuned. In each hole is only one reed, it's either a blow or a draw reed. The reed immediately below it is the same pitch but tuned slightly off center. That gives it a wavering sound ("tremolo") known as musette tuning. Also, since there are two reeds for each pitch, it's a little louder. They're very popular in Asian and Europe; not so much in the US and Britain.

16 is a short scale since there's only one read in each hole. It has the same range as an 8-hole diatonic. Most often, your corresponding draw read is left of the tonic blow read and the tonic (usually C) is repeated in each octave. The scale is straight with no missing pitches for the entire length of the harp.

The straight scale pattern makes them ideal for playing melodies on and not so hot for blowing chords other than the tonic chord (any blow combination is the tonic chord) -- several other types are tuned the same or closely the same way including the octave harmonica, the chromatic, and specially tuned diatonics such as the Marine Band 364S or Huang Cadet Soloist.

The typical 10-hole diatonic has two reeds in each hole. A blow and a draw. It can therefor have half as many holes as your tremolo and cover the same range. The huge difference though is the scale. The 10-hole is normally tuned to a Richter scale instead of scale-tuned or solo-tuned. What that means for the player is that notes are missing in the bottom of the scale pattern making some melodies impossible but that it's ideal for playing chords down there. Also, since you're only dealing with one read at a time - there's no musette tuned corresponding reed - pitches can be isolated and bent or overblown to get that "bluesy" sound common in most recordings.

Can you play similar songs on it? Sometimes. It depends on the song and style you're asking about. If you mean "wailing the blues" in the style of Dylan and other pop folks - probably not. It's not for that. If you mean some nice folk tune playing then yes - it's ideal for that. It's particularly good for ethnic music from Europe and Ireland.

Tablature you find out there will usually have to be modified though - 10-hole diatonics don't have the same scale as do scale tuned tremolos.

Bottom line - it's a different critter than a 10-hole diatonic for an entirely different sort of music. Just as a chromatic or an octave/echo harp is for a different sort of music. They're all good at what they do but we have so many different types because none is great at everything so we need choices.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrL1Pg-Kptk is a professional player wailing on a tremolo that costs a little more than your butterfly but works the same.

Some people can do pretty cool stuff with one. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8SA9J4BIAg&feature=related

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